President Donald Trump points to supporters after speaking at his Black Voices for Trump rally Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
How often are you watching politicians try to be relatable and they fall so short that you might actually think they’re a lizard person?
It’s pretty much all the time if we’re being honest.
During the 2016 election, I watched as Hillary Clinton tried to “hey fellow kids” her way into the hearts and minds of the youth with some of the most cringy moments ever seen in political history.
Who can forget when she was “just chilling…in Cedar Rapids.”
And who can forget this classic “Pokemon Go to the polls.”
Clinton isn’t alone in this weirdness. Both Cory Booker and Robert “Beto” O’Rourke tried to be relatable by speaking Spanish during their first debates.
There are more and more happening every year, and I’m pretty sure you can recall a few yourself just off the top of your head. If you do, put them down in the comments. They’re fun to read.
That said, the reason they came off so cringy is because they weren’t real. It was so try-hard that it made it feel like aliens trying to pretend to be relatable humans…and of course, it did. Most of these politicians have zero ideas on what it’s like to be us. They’ve been in politics for so long that they’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a normal person. Everything is pandering, vote accumulation, and narrative creation.
Meanwhile, Trump hasn’t been in politics even a quarter as long as most of those around him, and as a result, he’s not infected with the same personality traits that so far remove people from the normalcy of the general populace. He’s richer than most people ever will be, that’s true, but he still knows what it’s like to be an everyday American due to his business practices.
In his recent book, “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us,” Donald Trump Jr. talks about how his father makes it a habit of walking construction and project sites constantly and visiting with the workers doing the tough jobs. He inspects every square inch of the area multiple times and gets to know the workers by name.
Trump’s life puts him in a completely different column than the people working under him, but the fact that he interacts with them regularly makes him understand them far better, and not just understand them, but find ways to relate to them. He comes off as genuine because he’s not wading into the peasantry just to sway them for their vote and leave. He’s going there to chat on the ground level on a regular basis like a team leader.
For that reason, Trump comes off as far more relatable, especially during rallies.
During the last rally in Iowa, Trump took a detour while ranting up on his podium to talk about dishwashers. The media isolated that and sent it out to the public in an attempt to make it seem like he’s a raving idiot, but that’s not the impression that was given.
Instead, he talked about how dishwashers nowadays are pure crap.
People making fun of Trump here, but he’s actually making himself relatable. Yeah, it’s silly, but this makes him more personable. https://t.co/I3OU3sPwxJ
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) January 15, 2020
It’s unlikely that Trump washes his own dishes, but that doesn’t matter. He’s talked to enough people to know that they’re crap and that small moment of relatability on that small thing made Trump seem like someone who is far more sympathetic and understanding than some of the walking, talking mannequins that strut across the debate stage.
He makes a habit of doing these kinds of things at his rallies and not by accident. He knows what he needs to do to make himself more of a substantial figure and less of a try-hard. The difference is apparent. You never get the impression that Trump is being fake. He never actually says he’s one of us, but he never tries to pretend to be. He’s relatable without actually relating.
It’s one of the things the media can’t seem to find a solution to as it continuously tries to make Democrat politicians seem like everyday people despite the fact that they’re clearly not. CNN will try to make an entire segment centered around Pelosi being an everyday gal, but this everyday gal sure does like to live the high life on our dime.
Trump isn’t one of us but he freely interacts with us and that’s why his little moments seem so genuine. It’s because they are.